The RSS Revolution

One of the reasons I started blogging was to participate in the RSS revolution. At least one of my feed providers has pointed at Yahoo as a server based RSS delivery solution, and I had to return to My Yahoo last week and discovered that they've upgraded the services available via this Yahoo feature. The picture immediately below, shows my new My Yahoo! news page.

Screenshot of My Yahoo

This has an open BBC & Yahoo News (Reuters?), a minimised FT news feed and a yahoo aggregated photo stream. The cute thing is that while Yahoo offer an Add Service function for their own and the BBC services, I had to use the generic function to add the FT's feed and provide the applet with the RSS feed URL. The ability to customise the add feed dialogue is awesome (well, maybe not, but quite good! Confused) as it allows you to add any RSS feed. On another page, for instance, I have added my del.icio.us feed. This isn't as useful as it might be since the update frequency seems a bit flaky, and I know what I have put there recently, but it does add to the utility of the page and may make the my.yahoo portal a compelling alternative to my del.icio.us page which is currently my browsers' home page. Furthermore I may need to wait for further technical integration as the Flickr feeds show the picture title, but not the picture, so creating a portal page with all my blog posting, my bookmarks and my photos remains a little way of, but its close.

A second use is to create a customised news page, with serious and less serious news which can be checked as part of the start the day process. At the moment, I am using RSSowl as my RSS reader. This is written in Java and I run it on my desktop platfrom[s] but placing my blog feeds into the Yahoo page means that I can use any browser to check my news. Its my small personal contribution to the migration from the client to the server.

Another advantage to RSS feed authors is that Yahoo offer a very simple way to publish the feed into the My Yahoo portal. The button below should do it for my blog,...

Add to My Yahoo

My Yahoo is behind a password so its not yet available to act as publication solution; it seems hard to create a My Public Content page which pulls together various RSS/RDF sources as Simon Phipps seems to have done at Webmink, although if I want to start a Grumpy Old Git blog, perhaps I don't want the world to easily associate my grumpiness with this blog. There are also some obvious weaknesses in the channels available to the portal. As I said, the photo's are not yet easily integrated, and importantly for me neither are the Yahoo groups. I'm using the Yahoo bookmark manager to link to del.icio.us and the Yahoo Groups home/summary page, but hopefully they'll get their soon.

This is a lot better than when I first used it, and my be getting better as Yahoo builds its competitive offering. Its a great step towards personal server based computing. The add service function is incredibaly easy to use and definately passes Dominic Kay's I have 15 years UNIX sys admin experience and I don't want to use any of it to write a report!

I have removed the Yahoo banner advert from the screenshot above.

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While I use My Yahoo too (mainly for the editorial cartoons), I prefer to do this sort of feed aggregation using Bloglines where I am aggregating 136 syndication feeds (including Atom and several of the different forks of RSS).

Posted by Simon Phipps on August 31, 2005 at 09:35 PM PDT #

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